Gubernatorial candidates Pat McCrory and Walter Dalton addressed the role of economic incentives in attracting new jobs to North Carolina during their first debate Wednesday night. Democratic Lieutenant Governor Dalton says he doesn't like giving tax breaks and cash to lure businesses, but we have to offer incentives since other states do.
"We have to have an incentive package," says Dalton. "The key is to make sure our incentives are competitive with other states and the best incentive in North Carolina is our workforce, our people and the strength of our community college system that does great workforce training."
Republican former Charlotte Mayor McCrory agrees the state needs to offer economic incentives, but opposes the recent trend of offering cash to companies upfront, as was done to bring Chiquita to Charlotte.
"When we offer upfront cash to new businesses to come at the same time we're taxing existing businesses to help pay for those incentives, we're sending a mixed signal to existing businesses that have already invested in North Carolina," says McCrory. "That's not a sustainable economic development policy."
McCrory says lowering corporate taxes is a better approach to competing with neighboring states like Georgia, South Carolina and Virginia that have beat out North Carolina for some large new business opportunities.